What You Ought to Know About Destination Vacation Travel...
Sept. 23, 2015
Destination Tourism
Dominican Republic basks in golf tourism boom
Dominican Republic´s thriving tourism industry has yet another source of high end visitors as golf travel to the Caribbean nation jumped 40% last year, making the travel niche one more incentive for investors worldwide.
TARGET Consultores de Mercadeo executive director Teddy De Lara revealed the figure Saturday night during the opening of the 2nd annual DR Golf Travel Exchange 2015, a venue that aims to showcase some of the country´s most breathtaking links located in La Romana and Punta Cana (east).
Dozens of prominent local and international golf figures and tourism sector executives and Tourism Ministry officials, leading tour operators and local and international golf niche travel agents attended the inaugural at Casa de Campo Resort, hoisted by Casa de Campo president Rafael Torres.
Source:  Dominican Today. 
Jacksonville grows as a tourist destination
Jacksonville may not have the tourist stature that cities like Orlando do, but that's steadily changing, Visit Jacksonville revealed at an annual luncheon.
More than 3 million visitors have stayed in the city overnight since the year began, which represents a 2.5 percent increase from last year.
In addition, the hotel occupancy rates in Duval County have hovered around 71 percent this year. That occupancy comes with profit - the city has experienced 22 consecutive months of revenue growth per available room, resulting in record high bed tax rates. In all, the tourist and hospitality industry brought in about 2.2 billion dollars across the county. 
Visit Jacksonville CEO Paul Astleford said that Jacksonville's hospitality industry, including its burgeoning culinary scene, is a fundamental part of the increase in tourism.
Source:  Jacksonville Business Journal. 
Golf is big in the Coachella Valley, but just how big?
At least $1.1 billion a year in direct and indirect impact on the 2014 desert economy, according to an economic study commissioned by the Hi-Lo Desert Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
The report, released Monday, studies golf's impact through spending, wages, employment as well as federal, state and local taxes in the desert. While the report is released as golf is under siege for using large amounts of water during the California drought and as the game seeks to move forward from a decade of declining play and participation, those behind the report say it is about showing that the game is alive and well in the Coachella Valley.

Source: The Desert Sun. 
There's been lots of action lately on the tarmac at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, with planes bringing in tens of thousands of people to the Panhandle from all around the world.
According to AAA, about 71 percent of Floridians alone will be packing their bags during the fall season, which travelers say is an ideal time to fly with cheaper airfares and smaller lines at the check-in counter.
"We've noticed that where we live in the St. Louis area, you can get a flight to Las Vegas for $59 or a flight to Panama City for $69 dollars one-way, versus $400 round-trip during the summer months," Donald Cobb from Wood River, Illinois said.

Source: WJHG.com. 
Lodging Industry
Airbnb and other short-term rentals worsen housing shortage, critics say 
The last time he advertised one of his apartments, longtime Los Feliz landlord Andre LaFlamme got a request he'd never seen before.
A man wanted to rent LaFlamme's 245-square-foot bachelor unit with hardwood floors for $875 a month, then list it himself on Airbnb.
"Thanks but no thanks," LaFlamme told the prospective tenant. "You've got to be kidding me."
But he understood why: More money might be made renting to tourists a few days at a time than to a local for 12 months or more.

Source:  Los Angeles Times.  Read More... 

Extended stay hotels are often synonymous with barren rooms and tiny kitchenettes stranded out in the suburbs. These hotels have long attracted business travelers hoping to save money on a long term trip.
But that's changing. A whole new crop of long term hotels are popping up, and they're setting their sights on competing with rental sites like Airbnb. 
Part of Airbnb's appeal is that it offers alternative housing options in big cities and it lets guests feel like they're at home, since they're actually staying in someone else's home. Now, extended stay hotels are opening in hip, urban locations with more amenities, like chic designer decor and in-house gyms with personal trainers, in the hopes of attracting a younger group of travelers.

Source:  Business Insider. 
Global professional development association, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), is prepared to launch the first-ever hospitality industry search engine at their 2015 Annual Convention & Tradeshow October 21-24 in Bellevue, Wash. USA. The site, PineappleSearch.com, has aggregated material specific to the hospitality industry, placing importance on informational results such as white papers, articles, journals and more. 
"HFTP, in conjunction with HSyndicate, is extremely excited for the launch of PineappleSearch.com," explains HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. "Searchers will not have to wade through hundreds of results on unrelated topics to find information they are for. The engine will truly be a game changer for the industry."

Source:  Hotel News Resource. 
In "What's Going on With TripAdvisor: Part 1" we discussed a sampling of the complaints vacation rental managers are reporting about TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals (formerly known as FlipKey).
In Part 2, we examine additional problems experienced by vacation rental managers in recent months, along with the reported lack of rate parity between professional managers and individual homeowners and the ways TripAdvisor handles vacation rental reviews differently than hotels, restaurants and attractions -along with the negative impact of these issues on vacation rental management companies.
More customer support and technology issues
Like Justin Ford, Amy Gaster, co-founder of Tybee Vacation Rentals in Tybee Island, GA, recently decided not to renew their contract for over 200 property listings with TripAdvisor.

Source:  VRM Insider.  
Airline Industry
Airline complaints climb 20% in first half of 2015
Flight disruptions and baggage problems were among the reasons that passengers filed 20% more complaints against U.S. airlines this year, according to Transportation Department statistics released Tuesday.
During the first six months of the year, passengers filed 9,542 complaints, up from the 7,935 during the same period a year earlier.
Cancellations, delays and missed connections were the top causes, garnering 3,107 passenger complaints. Another 1,417 complaints dealt with baggage, 1,282 ticketing and boarding problems, and 1,121 customer service.
But the much smaller Spirit Airlines ranked third during the six-month period with 937 complaints and Frontier Airlines followed with 622 complaints. While American and United each had less than three complaints per 100,000 passengers, Frontier's rate was more than 10 per 100,000 passengers and Spirit's more than 11.

 Source:  USA Today.   Read More... 
Expedia Investing Millions to Better Sell Airline Tickets
Many online travel agencies such as Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity over the years scurried to wean themselves away from their previous dependence on selling airline tickets in favor of a higher-margin hotel business but now Expedia wants to lean back a bit to reemphasize the sale of flights.
Following Expedia's agreement last week with American Airlines Group to begin selling American's Main Cabin Extra and Preferred Seats later this year, Greg Schulze, Expedia Inc.'s senior vice president of global tour and transport, tells Skift that Expedia plans to be selling additional airlines' branded fares by the end of 2015, giving customers new options to compare them so they can better understand what they're getting.

 Source:  Skift.com.   Read More... 
Jobs Report Gives Ammunition to Both Sides of Fed Rate Debate
Despite disappointing job growth last month, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since early 2008, sharpening the debate within theFederal Reserve over whether to raise interest rates when policy makers meet in two weeks.
Friday's report from the Labor Department - which found that employers added a weaker-than-expected 173,000 jobs in August while the official jobless rate dipped to 5.1 percent - provided fodder for both camps to make their cases.
The slowdown in job growth and the absence of any significant wage pressure could strengthen the arguments of those who see little risk in keeping borrowing costs exceptionally low and waiting not just for more encouraging data but also for unruly markets to settle down.
Source:  NY Times.com  
More real estate dollars going to vacation homes
When people spend their money on real estate, it is generally for their primary residence, investment property they plan to lease, or for vacation property they plan to use for personal leisure.
When spending on vacation property goes up, as the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says it did last year, it might say something about the economy.
According to NAR, sales of vacation homes in the U.S. boomed last year, even rising above their most recent peak in 2006, just before the housing crash.
What makes that comparison more remarkable is that in 2006, lending standards were very lax. Now, they are strict -- yet sales have surpassed the 2006 high.
Source:  Consumer Affairs.  
The Importance of Travel & Tourism to the Global Economy
The growth of the travel and tourism industry in recent years has been staggering. International passenger numbers are expected to rise to 1.5 billion in 2017 with 292 million additional passengers. The industry now supports 1 in 11 jobs worldwide.
The way we live is changing and the industry no longer relies on affluent people paying exorbitant prices for their holidays, or honeymooners spending to excess in some exotic paradise. In 2015, holidays are much more affordable for the average person, and as a result the majority of people plan at least one holiday a year.
Source:  Hospitality Net.  

At DestiMetrics we are committed to being an active member of the travel industries that we support.  The ASSEMBLY, which is produced by DestiMetrics, is a one day conference in Denver where leaders in mountain travel collaborate on industry issues.  This year's ASSEMBLY will focus on Destination Mountain Summer and the peaks and valleys of our seasonal mountain economy, where peaks require management and mitigation, while the valleys can be better marketed
As we continue our expansion to sun & beach destinations we look forward to hosting events similar to The ASSEMBLY for warm weather destinations in the future.

Upcoming presentations and appearances



September 23

Camp 9600

Breckenridge, CO


October 1 -2

Central Reservations Association of Destination Resorts Fall Meeting

Park City/Canyons Resort, UT


October 6

 Summit County COO Breakfast

Summit County, CO


October 9

Steamboat Springs Economic Summit

Steamboat Springs, CO


October 25 - 28

Vacation Rental Managers Association Annual Conference

New Orleans, LA 


November 8 - 12

Springer Miller Systems Host Users Group Conference

Bend, OR 


December 15

Vail Town Council/VEAC

Vail, CO


January 29

The Assembly 2016

Denver, CO


Note: If you're planning on attending any of these events and would like to schedule a time to meet, please contact Katie Barnes at kbarnes@destimetrics.com or 
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 Volume 57